You can now buy Kenyan government bonds on your phone

Kenya will start selling a mobile-phone based government bond this week, the Treasury said on Tuesday, the culmination of a lengthy plan to tap a new pool of investors into government securities.

The Treasury said the bond will go on sale on Thursday, without offering more information. Kenya pioneered the use of mobile money in 2007 with M-Pesa, a money transfer service, by telecoms operator Safaricom.

Known as M-Akiba, the new bond will be offered on M-Pesa and similar mobile phone financial services by other firms, a source in the telecoms industry said. Investors will be able to buy the bond through their phones, where a record of their holdings will be stored. Coupon payments will also be made through the phone.

M-Pesa allows users to transfer cash and make payments on even the most basic mobile phone. In partnership with local banks, Safaricom has since expanded the service to offer savings, lending and insurance products.

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